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Veedon Fleece [Original recording remastered]

Van MorrisonAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1997 --  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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The subtitle of Van Morrison's new album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, indicates the power that music still holds for this living legend. "No Plan B means this is not a rehearsal," says Morrison. "That’s the main thing—it’s not a hobby, it’s real, happening now, in real time."

This sense of absolute conviction, which has ... Read more in Amazon's Van Morrison Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • ASIN: B000002GNO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,899 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fair Play
2. Linden Arden Stole The Highlights
3. Who Was That Masked Man
4. Streets Of Arklow
5. You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push The River
6. Bulbs
7. Cul De Sac
8. Comfort You
9. Come Here My Love
10. Country Fair

Editorial Reviews

On this subtle classic, a comparatively somber, subdued Van Morrison emerged from the rubble of the failed marriage that a few years earlier infused his American studio sessions with a conjugal glow and journeyed home to Ireland to revive his Celtic identity. From the pale, hand-colored images on its cover to the quieter, more skeletal arrangements of the music, 1974's Veedon Fleece originally seemed dispiriting to Morrison fans hoping for the R&B ebullience of its predecessors. Yet songs like "Linden Arden Stole the Highlights," "Streets of Arklow," and "Country Fair" anticipate the pastoral Irish lyricism that would bloom again a half decade later on Into the Music, emerging as a cornerstone of Morrison's work from the '80s forward. --Sam Sutherland

Product Description

2008 newly remastered sound and expanded packaging including lyrics of the 1974 album Veedon Fleece the eighth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. The cover photograph picturing Morrison with two Irish Wolfhounds was taken at the Sutton House Hotel, a converted mansion overlooking Dublin Bay, where Morrison first stayed upon arriving in Ireland for a vacation. The opening track, "Fair Play" derived its name from Morrison's Irish friend, Donall Corvin's habit of using the Irish colloquialism "fair play to you" as a wry compliment.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only one mellow way to go... March 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
On which Morrison is less Van the Man, the Celtic Soul Brother and more the ruminative Irish poet child of's difficult to describe this wonderful record in a few sentences. It's very much in the English Nick Drake/Pentangle tradition, which is not to say that it's traditional folk music. It's got strains of R & B, jazz, and even country running through it, and was a logical, if unexpected progression of Van's music at the time. It's closest in feel, in the Morrison catalog, to Astral Weeks; it shares the mostly acoustic, jazzy feel of his Warners debut but is a more mature and introspective work. Morrison had, after the relative aesthetic failure of his otherwise fine Hard Nose The Highway album, begun to get a bit restless artistically...if I recall correctly, he took a trip to Ireland to get back to his roots (so to speak) after spending many years here in the States, and when he returned this is where his muse led him. He recieves stellar backing from his road band on this album, especially the underrated pianist Jef Labes.

There isn't a bad track here. I love them all, but I especially love the moody "Streets of Arklow", with magnificent recorder accompaniment by Jim Rothermel; the breezy opener "Fair Play" in which he begins his penchant for name dropping his favorite writers, clever at first but eventually run into the ground later in his career... "You Don't Pull No Punches...", in which he sings about a quest for spiritual enlightenment, known here as the Veedon Fleece; the jazzy "Cul De Sac" with a fearless, amazing vocal, "Who Was That Masked Man", in which Van does his best Smokey Robinson impersonation, and the closer, the gorgeous "Country Fair" which evokes a late summer evening vividly. It's a haunting tune you won't soon forget.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Van Morrison stole the highlights January 4, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Veedon Fleece is THE album in my collection that I keep coming back to over and again. I listen to it almost on a daily basis, and have been doing so ever since I bought it just about a year ago. This is the closest anyone has ever come to making a flawless album. The vocals are truly astounding, it's almost like if Van reaches a state of higher consciousness while singing. No one can sound like this but Van.
From the opening laidback masterpiece Fair Play to the beautifully soothing closer that is Country Fair, Veendon Fleece takes you for a ride that interacts with just about every emotion you have in your body. Linden Arden stole the highlights presents a totally jawdropping melodic transition between verse and chorus, Bulbs is just irresistibly joyous and catchy (albeit embedded in sarcasm), and Cul de Sac evokes the image of a protagonist singing with his heart hanging from a big black hole in his cheast.
Veedon Fleece is easily the best (and most underrated) album I have stumbled upon so far in my life, and I sincerely recommend it to everyone. Buy it, and it will soon become the one thing you take with you to a deserted island. Trust me. :o)
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
"Veedon Fleece" is part of the 2nd wave of Van Morrison remastered reissues to hit the shops in 2008 (see full list below). Released Monday 30 June 2008 in the UK and 1 July 2008 in the USA, it boasts an upgraded booklet, a 96k/24 bit remaster and 2 bonus tracks for the first time.

Here's the layout (56:36 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 make the album originally released in October 1974 on Warner Brothers
Tracks 11 and 12 are Alternate Takes of "Twilight Zone" and "Cul De Sac" and both are previously unreleased exclusive bonus tracks

The band consisted of:
JACK SCHROER on Soprano Sax
JIM RITHERMEL on Flute and Recorder
DAHOUD SHAAR and ALLEN SWARTZBURG on Drums and Percussion

Labes, Shaar, Schroer, Hayes and Nathan Rubin were all part of "The Caledonia Soul Orchestra" who toured with Van and produced the dynamite "It's Too Late To Stop Now" live double released in March of 1974. Tight and complimentary to his style, they knew what Van wanted when he went in to record "Veedon Fleece". The album is a slight return to the style of "Astral Weeks" song-writing - not verse/chorus - but more soulful meandering workouts heavy on the mystical lyrics and falsetto vocals. This style is particularly evident on the fabulous "You Don't Pull No Punches, But You Don't Push The River" which ended Side 1 of the album - an 8-minute strummer that gets its hooks into you and doesn't leave. The chipper "Bulbs" was issued as 7" single on both sides of the pond ("Cul De Sac" its B-side in the US, "Who Was That Masked Man?" in the UK).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars soothes my soul, stirs my drink November 1, 1999
Format:Audio CD
when in 1975, I decided to buy my first van the man album (being hooked on Moondance after toe-tapping my way through the Gloria and Browen Eyed Girl days) I went to the bargain bins at the Record Service in Champaign and saw Veedon Fleece ... far different than what I expected, (and, owing to its placement in the bargain bins, the public, too) it lulled me, massaged me, then reeled me in and has become my all-time favorite album, and now, after three worn out copies, CD.... it became a ritual: at night, i used to listen to side one "the Fair Play" side, to fall into pleasant slumber, then, when I woke up, flip it to the "Bulbs" side for a nice pick me up, perk-me-up start of the day... the wide ranging music both stirs and soothes my soul, and Van's "barking" (or, as one reviewer called it, " the aargh" ) on side two is primally joyous... this album is simply beautiful
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Only To Astral Weeks... Van's True Moody/Poetic Side Comes Out...
I can't even begin to describe how truly exceptional this album is in my opinion(nearly perfect). I am a lifetime music lover/fanatic and have all of Van's albums. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Championship Vinyl
5.0 out of 5 stars SAY GERONIMO
Taste is subjective but this is my favorite Van Morrison album next to Astral Weeks. Saint Dominic's Preview running a close third. Read more
Published 10 months ago by K. H. Orton
5.0 out of 5 stars Van being Van
If you are a new listener to Van this album is not the place to start, however if you "get" this great artist then this album is a wonderful addition to your collection. Read more
Published on June 12, 2012 by carl edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten masterpiece
If you love Van Morrison and are looking for something moving after Astral Weeks, this is the album you should buy. Period.
Published on December 28, 2011 by Sri
5.0 out of 5 stars And I saw your eyes, they were shining sparkling crystal clear
And our heads were filled with poetry... There are some fine things in this life, and Van has pointed out plenty of them to us over a long time. Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by Da Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Autumnal Masterpiece
It's all been pretty much said by the other reviewers but I couldn't resist adding some comments. I was awed at Astral Weeks and I felt immense admiration for the albums Van made... Read more
Published on June 16, 2011 by G. J. Mcintyre
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Van Morrison's very best
Veedon Fleece contains absolutely no tunes that ever made standard classic rock radio or oldies hits rotations. Read more
Published on April 25, 2011 by Art B in Nor Cal
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Van album
I enjoy all VM music. This one is rich though. My personal favorite. I've been returning to it season after season for fifteen years now. It's part of me.
Published on June 9, 2010 by briarpatch
5.0 out of 5 stars a lost classic
You know, sometimes I don't believe it's always fair to compare everything Van Morrison did to Astral Weeks. Read more
Published on April 28, 2010 by B. E Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars best Van the Man cd
I bought this used from moviemars and it was in perfect condition .Best Van Morrison cd I own.Thanks to Patty for introducing me all those years ago:)
Published on March 22, 2010 by Jennifer Sola
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